If Iinstalled a keylogger on a private business work computer that I have administrator access to, didI break the law?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If Iinstalled a keylogger on a private business work computer that I have administrator access to, didI break the law?

I installed a trial keylogger on a private business work computer that I have administrator access to. The employer asked me to retrieve the password is how I got it. I installed it simply to test it and forgot about it and left it on for 5 months and someone found it because it wasn’t hidden. I never used the information for any criminal intent. I never even checked it I just installed it and forgot about it. The owner is threatening me and I was just wondering if I am in the wrong for I didn’t actually do anything against the law. What is the law for what I did?

Asked on September 17, 2010 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Keyloggers are not illegal per se if installed on your own computer or on others computers with their knowledge.  If, however, you install them on the computer of another without their knowledge or consent it is considered "spyware."  Speaking from the state of New York, there is not real law against the use of spyware per se. What people are sued for are the implication of the spyware: deceptive acts and practices,  false advertising, trespass to chattels (the computer itself is a "chattel"), etc.  Stealing trade secrets if you took info and sold it to a competitor would be an example here.  Let's just say that it was not good business practice and try and make amends with the owner. Even if it was "out in the open" as you say it was still not really a good idea. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption